Kolkata, Apr 30 (GCCurrentAffairs) With the defection of Trinamool’s incumbent MP Soumitra Khan to the BJP before the Lok Sabha election, it will be a prestige fight between the ruling party and the BJP from Bishnupur Lok Sabha constituency in Bankura district.
Though the constituency is likely to witness the main contest between the TMC and the BJP, the CPI(M) is trying to hold its ground in the seat which was once its bastion.
After a good show in last year’s rural body polls, the BJP is likely to give the Trinamool a run for its money in Bishnupur seat.
According to Mr Khan, ”TMC has become a party of an ‘aunt and her nephew’, this is becoming a “dynasty rule.”
“I am a young MP and I cannot tolerate witnessing all elections turning into a farce in Bengal. TMC will not stay in government forever, but there will be young generation always. What will they learn? There is not a single instance in Bengal, when a poll was conducted peacefully. Every time, the ruling party uses bombs and bullets. Why so? We are ruling here, then why we always need to resort to violent means? I was getting suffocated in that system,” Mr Khan remarked.
The sitting MP said the TMC is being controlled by a group of leaders from south Kolkata.
“This has become a dynast’s rule. Nobody thinks about the organisation in far-flung districts in Bengal. Every time, I tried to raise my voice, I was intimidated. I was told that there can be cases against me. Now I do not care about those false cases. I am responsible citizen and I never broke rule,” he added.
While most of his BJP colleagues and opponents have started campaigning, Mr Khan, now the saffron party’s candidate from this Bishnupur Lok Sabha constituency, cannot. A court order barred him from entering Bankura, of which Bishnupur is a part. He alleged that the ban on his entry in the constituency is the result of the false cases engineered by his former party – the Trinamool Congress – to harass him.
It will, however, not affect his chances of a victory, Mr Khan claimed.
“I am a local boy, people know me. My wife Sujata is campaigning for me, the entire BJP machinery in the district is working for me – there are 10,000 boys (working for him) and they are getting a huge response. But what is worrying is how democracy is subverted by the Trinamool Congress by framing people and preventing them from participating in the election process,”he said.
Mr Khan said he would deliver speeches over mobile phones. “Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanathji had to deliver his speech over phone after his chopper was not allowed to land in north Bengal,” said Khan.
Sujata Khan, wife of Saumitra Khan, launched the campaign for her husband, after he was barred from entering the district for six weeks by Calcutta High Court in connection with some criminal cases.
“My husband was framed in false cases by Trinamool to take revenge after he joined the BJP. I am not involved in direct politics but have taken up the responsibility to campaign for my husband as the court has barred him from entering the district,” Sujata Khan said at a rally in Borjora recently.
However, local TMC leaders said Khan would not win.
“The people will not vote for a person with criminal charges. We have driven him out of the party and the court has barred him from Bankura,” Bankura Trinamool chief Arup Khan said.
Mr Khan faces four criminal cases, related to alleged cheating, sand smuggling and offences under the arms act.
Earlier, three Bankura residents have accused Khan of collecting Rs 10 lakh from them by giving false assurance of jobs as assistant teachers in state-aided schools.
The Congress had won the first two general elections from Bishnupur (1962 and 1967) but it was the CPM ever since, winning 11 elections from the seat between 1971 and 2014 when the TMC ended their dominance.
In 2014 Lok Sabha election, former Trinamool Congress leader Saumitra Khan had won the Bishnupur Lok Sabha constituency with a margin of 1,49,685 votes.
Mr Khan had bagged 578870 votes against Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) candidate Susmita Bauri who secured 429185 votes.
In the 2009 election, CPM’s Susmita Bauri had defeated TMC candidate Seuli Saha by winning 541,075 votes. The Trinamool Congress candidate bagged the second spot with 411,709 votes.
This year sitting MP Saumitra Khan, who earlier won on a TMC ticket, is contesting on a BJP ticket. TMC has fielded MLA and Minister Shyamal Santra from the seat, CPM has named Sunil Khan, and Narayan Chandra Khan is contesting on a Congress ticket.
As per the Election Commission data in 2019, total number of electorate in Bishnupur Lok Sabha seat is 16, 22, 116 of which 8, 28, 365 are male, 7, 93, 743 female and 8 third genders voters. A total number of 1870 polling stations would be set up for voting.
As per order of the Delimitation Commission in respect of the delimitation of constituencies in the West Bengal, parliamentary constituency no. 37 Bishnupur is composed of the seven assembly segments such as Barjora, Onda , Bishnupur, Katulpur, Indus , Sonamukhi and Khandaghosh.
Bishnupur will vote during the sixth round of the seven-phase elections on May 12. The result will be declared on May 23.